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Mol Cell Biol. 1999 Jul;19(7):4798-805.

Activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in response to interleukin-1 leads to phosphorylation and activation of the NF-kappaB p65/RelA subunit.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.


The work of Reddy et al. (S. A. Reddy, J. A. Huang, and W. S. Liao, J. Biol. Chem. 272:29167-29173, 1997) reveals that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) plays a role in transducing a signal from the occupied interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor to nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), but the underlying mechanism remains to be determined. We have found that IL-1 stimulates interaction of the IL-1 receptor accessory protein with the p85 regulatory subunit of PI3K, leading to the activation of the p110 catalytic subunit. Specific PI3K inhibitors strongly inhibit both PI3K activation and NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression but have no effect on the IL-1-stimulated degradation of IkappaBalpha, the nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB, or the ability of NF-kappaB to bind to DNA. In contrast, PI3K inhibitors block the IL-1-stimulated phosphorylation of NF-kappaB itself, especially the p65/RelA subunit. Furthermore, by using a fusion protein containing the p65/RelA transactivation domain, we found that overexpression of the p110 catalytic subunit of PI3K induces p65/RelA-mediated transactivation and that the specific PI3K inhibitor LY294,002 represses this process. Additionally, the expression of a constitutively activated form of either p110 or the PI3K-activated protein kinase Akt also induces p65/RelA-mediated transactivation. Therefore, IL-1 stimulates the PI3K-dependent phosphorylation and transactivation of NF-kappaB, a process quite distinct from the liberation of NF-kappaB from its cytoplasmic inhibitor IkappaB.

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